District News

LCS Celebrates Arlie Gardner Day Arlie Gardner celebrates his 90th birthday.

While some may find it difficult to image reporting to work at the age of 90, Arlie Gardner remains focused on a job well done.

On Monday, his 90th birthday, he walked into a conference room at the LaRue County Schools Board of Education with a step ladder on his shoulder and a roll of duct tape in his hand. Led to the room under the guise of a maintenance project, Gardner was met by coworkers and friends gathered to celebrate the longtime LaRue County Schools employee.

Gardner, a part-time maintenance specialist, started working for the school district in 1973.

Sidebottom Nominated for Special Education Teacher of the Year Sidebottom Nominated for Special Education Teacher of the Year

  Casey Sidebottom, a special education teacher at LaRue County High School, has been named LaRue County Schools’ nominee for The Kentucky Special Education Teacher of the Year.

LCS Welcomes New School Resource Deputy School Resource Deputy - Brandon Boone

  LaRue County Schools welcomed the district’s first school resource deputy in October. Deputy Brandon Boone, an employee of the LaRue County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the school district, provides a law enforcement presence particularly at LaRue County High School, but is serving all the district’s schools.LaRue County Schools welcomed the district’s first school resource deputy in October. Deputy Brandon Boone, an employee of the LaRue County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the school district, provides a law enforcement presence particularly at LaRue County High School, but is serving all the district’s schools.

Hep A Vaccinations: Mission Accomplished Hep A Compliance

As far as LaRue County Schools’ 2300-plus students being in compliance with state-required hepatitis A immunizations, it’s “mission accomplished” according to Rip Collins, the district’s director of pupil personnel.

LCS Invites Parents, Community to School Safety Forum Safety Forum Oct 23, 6 p.m.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our students, staff and visitors,” said LCS Superintendent David Raleigh. “The forum is an opportunity for the entire LaRue County community to come together to share concerns, ask questions and learn more about the measures we’ve taken to enhance school safety.”

ExCEL Nominees Share Passion for Student Success (left to Right) David L. Raleigh, Superintendent LaRue County Schools; Karlotta Cecil, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Misty Bivens, LaRue County High School; Tim Gross, LaRue County Middle School; and Lacy Hatfield, Hodgenville Elementary School.

Four LaRue County teachers are nominees for the 2018-19 LG&E KU and WHAS-TV Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership (ExCEL) Award.They include Karlotta Cecil, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Lacy Hatfield, Hodgenville Elementary School; Tim Gross, LaRue County Middle School; and Misty Bivens, LaRue County High School.

Innovative Females in Technology Playing a video game that teaches basic computer coding are, front to back, Jocelyn Corletto, Natalie Sampson, Izabelly Diaz, Abigail Whittington & Adrianna Smith.

Walk into one of the classrooms at LaRue County High School about 2 p.m. on any early-release Friday and you are likely to see about 20 female elementary students energetically engaged in learning about technology.

Morning Fitness at HES These girls enjoy talking while walking during 15 minutes of morning fitness at Hodgenville Elementary School. From front left/right are Jocelyn Corleto and Gracie Hay; Izabelly Diaz and Kyleigh Markham; and Kaylee Clark and Rachael Hammons.

They walk; they talk; they run, but most of all early arriving students to Hodgenville Elementary School start their day with 15 minutes of moving in what is called Morning Fitness or Fitness Club.

FastPath Cuts Emergency Response Times School Safety

FastPath Cuts Emergency Response Times

LaRue County Schools hosted a training session Thursday for its newly implemented FastPath Hallway Navigation System. The navigation system makes communication between schools and public safety agencies more efficient and cuts the time it takes first responders to get to the exact scene of an emergency.

State Assessment & Accountability Results Released State Assessment

State Assessment and Accountability Results Released

LaRue County Schools leaders are analyzing data and developing plans to narrow achievement gaps after the Kentucky Department of Education on Wednesday released results from 2017-18 statewide assessments.

My School Menus Mobile App! Download Menu App!

LaRue County Public Schools is pleased to introduce their new My School Menus™ mobile app for parents and
students. Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play!

LCS proposes 2018 tax rates A regional comparison of real property tax rates.

Shortly after the start of the school year, all Kentucky school districts must determine local school tax rates. The LaRue County Schools Board of Education is considering proposed 2018 tax rates of 50.3 cents on real property and 50.3 cents on personal property. 

As the Board of Education’s decision approaches, LCS wants to ensure the LaRue County community has important information on school property tax rates and school funding needs.

LaRue County High School Athletic Hall of Fame LaRue County High School Athletic Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Individuals may be nominated in THREE categories:

  1. ATHLETE – A former high school athlete whose achievements as a high school athlete were extraordinary.  In order to be eligible an athlete must be out of high school at least 5 years.
  2. COACH – A former coach whose accomplishments as a high school coach merit recognition who has been inactive as a coach for a minimum of 5 years.  Coaches would be considered on the merits of their high school coaching achievements.
  3. CONTRIBUTOR – An individual who has made outstanding contributions to athletics in some capacity other than athlete or coach.  Such as, areas including athletic administrators, sports medicine, sports media, or financial support.
Glow Run Glow Run

LaRue Track and Cross-Country Glow For It 5k Glow Run

Cecil Wins National Award Cecil Wins

This past week at the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Speech and Debate Tournament, 2018 LaRue County graduate Elena Cecil was named the National Student of the Year during the awards ceremony on Friday evening. Earlier in the year, 78 NSDA Districts from all over the United States submitted their District Student of the Year for consideration for the top spots.  Elena was named the Kentucky District Student of the Year in March, and in May was announced as a top six finalist for the national award. “I was so surprised and happy when my mom got the email saying I was a finalist,” Cecil said, “I just kept thinking it was such an honor to be recognized for something that has just been such a huge part of my life for these past four years.”

Bryan attends prestigious summer institute in D.C. Kendrick Bryan

Kendrick Bryan, a Social Studies teacher at LaRue County High School, is attending Georgetown University for the four-week James Madison summer institute.

Bryan was awarded the 2017 James Madison Fellowship for Kentucky. As part of the program, he was awarded $24,000 to study constitutional history. He is also a graduate student at Western Kentucky University.

David Raleigh David Raleigh - Superintendent

Greetings Hawk Nation!

I am extremely excited to begin my new journey as superintendent of LaRue County Schools. Out of respect for Mr. Sanders, I held off on sending you this letter of introduction until my first official day on the job.

Sanders retires with greatest goal achieved Sam Sanders

When Sam Sanders was named superintendent of LaRue County Schools 16 years ago, he set out to help make our school district one of the best in Kentucky.

As he took the helm in 2002, LCS ranked 131st of 176 school districts. Today, as Sanders finishes his last month with LCS and prepares to retire as one of the state’s longest serving superintendents, I’m in awe of how much our district has accomplished during his tenure.

Perhaps the most tangible sign of our progress is student performance in state assessments. For the past five years, LCS has been a top 20 district and was the eighth-highest performing district of 173 statewide in 2016. Further, it was a tremendous honor to be one of only a handful of districts named a 2015-16 District of Distinction by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Wilkerson named Abraham Lincoln Elementary principal Wilkerson named Abraham Lincoln Elementary principal

Veteran educator Crystal Wilkerson has been selected as the next principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, the school’s Site-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council announced Friday evening.

Wilkerson has 22 years of teaching experience and currently serves as an exceptional education teacher and facilitator at John Hardin High School.

“I’m honored to be selected as the next Abraham Lincoln Elementary School principal,” Wilkerson said. “ALES is an excellent school and I look forward to supporting and maintaining a positive school culture and academic progress for all students.”

Price named Hodgenville Elementary Principal Price named Hodgenville Elementary Principal

LaRue County High School assistant principal Chris Price has been selected as the next principal of Hodgenville Elementary School.

Price served the district as a high school math teacher for 19 years before taking the role of assistant principal five years ago. During his 24 years as an educator, Price also coached various levels of basketball and baseball for 18 years, including eight years as the LCHS head baseball coach.

“I’m excited about this opportunity, and I am grateful to Mr. Sanders and the SBDM for having the confidence in me to place me in this role,” Price said. “I look forward to working with the staff, students and families, as we focus on the continuous goal of making Hodgenville Elementary one of the top elementary schools in Kentucky.”

Grant helps LCS upgrade van for students relying on wheelchairs LCS Upgrades Van

An $8,600 grant will provide students from LaRue County Schools who rely on wheelchairs easier access to field trips, other school activities and even job opportunities.

A 2011 Dodge Caravan owned by the district was retrofitted in February to make it wheelchair accessible at a cost of $8,680. The money was provided by the WHAS Crusade for Children, which raises funds for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children.

Students Participate in Mock Interviews Job Interview GFX

How should a person prepare for interviewing for a job? How should the person dress—formal, informal, casual? What questions should he anticipate?

To help LaRue County High School students answer these questions as well as to give them a feel for actually interviewing for a position, all the school’s seniors will participate in mock interviews with community members at the high school Friday.

LCHS senior raking in awards for words and deeds Elena Cecil

Not only is Elena Cecil living her family’s legacy of speech and service, the 17-year-old LaRue County High School senior is winning awards for both. A lot of awards. Major awards. So many, in fact, that she could fill a trophy case.

Incoming Superintendent Raleigh: It’s a Great Day to be a Hawk LaRue County Schools

I am humbled and honored to have been chosen as your next superintendent of schools. LaRue County Schools has developed a reputation of being one of the best school districts in the state, so I am extremely excited about becoming part the team and your community.


Chess Club at ALES Chess Club at ALES

Since the arrival of video games, many young people are growing up without enjoying the fun of sitting across a table from an opponent, contemplating their strategy while playing on actual boards.

The students in the chess club at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, however, are competing the old fashioned way, learning the rules of the game as they challenge fellow club members.

“The number of members in the club varies, but it is open to students in the third to fifth grade,” said club adviser Monica Spencer who teaches second grade at the school. “For the spring semester we have nine students in chess club, but the club has had as many as 13 students at one time.”

LCS asks community to participate in school safety survey School Safety

LaRue County Schools officials are asking students, staff, parents and member of the LaRue community to provide input on school safety measures by taking a survey available on the district’s website.

Next LCS superintendent named David L. Raleigh

In a unanimous decision, the LaRue County Schools Board of Education on Thursday named David L. Raleigh the district’s next superintendent.

Raleigh, currently an assistant superintendent for Franklin County Schools, will officially begin the job July 1, and his annual salary will be $129,000, according to the employment contract approved at a special board meeting.

“The board members believe Mr. Raleigh is the one who can take our schools to the next level,” said board chairwoman Dawn Conner. “LaRue County Schools already is doing very well, and we are excited to attract a new superintendent who can lead us forward.”

Board members said they were pleased that one candidate earned the board’s undivided support, though four highly qualified individuals were interviewed for the job.

Board to interview four superintendent candidates Superintendent Search

The LCS Board of Education is moving into the interview phase of the search for the next superintendent of LaRue County Schools.

Parents urged to attend kindergarten registration March 22 Kindergarten Registration

ALES kindergarten teacher Melissa Newby engages her students during story time.

Healthy smiles for students Lisa Eberle, Cumberland Medical Center dental assistant, cleans and adds sealant to a student’s teeth.

If you happen to notice LaRue County school students wearing broader-than-usual smiles in the next few weeks, there’s a great reason for it.

Family Dental with Cumberland Family Medical has been in the district seeing middle and high school students February 22-27. They will see elementary students in the upcoming weeks, making sure to visit all schools.

LaRue superintendent search attracts 15 applicants 15 apply to lead LCS

The LaRue County Schools superintendent screening committee is reviewing 15 applications for the district’s top post.

The 15 individuals include four superintendents, three principals and eight educators working in central office positions. The pool consists of 14 men and one woman. Fourteen applicants live in Kentucky and one is from outside the state. Another four people submitted incomplete applications, which will not be considered.

The board of education charged the screening committee with recommending three to five applicants. The committee will finalize its recommendations March 15 and provide the recommendations in a meeting with the board March 19.

STLP Creates LaRue County Minecraft World STLP LCHS Minecraft

While reviewing the digital product online judging section of the Student Technology Leadership Program website last fall, members of LaRue County High School’s STLP club came across a competitive project that they couldn’t turn down.

State budget could deal serious blow to LaRue schools Transportation is among the largest cuts in a proposed state budget.

If Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget passes, LaRue County Schools could face more than $1 million in new financial liability in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The steepest of the governor’s cuts pulls back state funding for student transportation from about 57 percent to 25 percent of the costs. This shifts a new $550,198 responsibility to LaRue County Schools.

“Making up that kind of shortfall within the transportation department would be impossible,” said district finance officer Kay Bryant. “We would have to look for cuts in other areas.”

The district could consider using fewer buses to run longer routes or staggered routes, but that wouldn’t cut labor hours. The district also could look at forgoing replacement buses – the current plan includes $200,000 to buy two new buses – but district officials warn that districts that don’t stick to a replacement plan soon find themselves with a fleet that is expensive to maintain and even unsafe.

While it’s true that the governor’s budget holds steady Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding at $3,981 per student, local districts’ share of funding continues to increase. SEEK funding has remained fairly flat for nearly a decade, while the cost of educating a child has increased dramatically. Without considering cuts like the proposed transportation cut, SEEK funding for LCS is estimated at $10.4 million for the 2018-19 school year.

Early release Fridays to continue next school year Abraham Lincoln Elementary School fifth grade teachers, from left, Adryanna Warren, Heather Hynes, Daniel Thomas, and Todd Rogers examine curriculum data on a Friday afternoon after students have been dismissed for Early Release.

Early Release Fridays, in which LaRue County Schools’ students are dismissed each Friday at 1:30 p.m., will continue in the 2018-19 school calendar.

According to three veteran classroom teachers, the collaboration time is beneficial not only to teachers but also to students.

“This gives us time to meet with our other grade-level teachers, special education teachers, our school-wide staff, and with teachers at Hodgenville Elementary,” said Heather Sutherland, a fourth-grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. “Early Release Fridays are designed for teachers to meet to analyze student data, discuss curriculum and assessments, and plan lessons that best meet the needs of our students.”

LCMS Incident LaRue County Middle School

Parent Notice of incident that occured at LCMS on Feb. 15.

LaRue teachers earn National Board Certification From left, LaRue County Middle School teacher Ashley Carter and LaRue County High School teacher Savannah Boone recently earned National Board Certification.

LaRue County High School teacher Savannah Boone and LaRue County Middle School teacher Ashley Carter have been named National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement.

“This means so much to me as a teacher,” Boone said. “I wanted to develop professionally and perform to the best of my ability. I feel that earning National Board Certification means that I’m striving to do what’s best for kids and seeking to continually improve as an educator.”

Both teachers earned certification for exceptional needs specialist/early childhood through young adulthood.

“Working as an exceptional needs collaborator, I spend a lot of time reflecting on student behavior and learning processes,” Carter said. “National Boards allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practice. Through reflective analysis, I hope to improve the support I can give my amazing students.”

LCHS senior honored for service to others Elena Cecil with Melissa Maxcy Wade, former Director of Debate at Emory University

LaRue County High School senior Elena Cecil’s service to others has led to a very special honor. Cecil won the Melissa Maxcy Wade Social Justice Award earlier this month at the Emory University Speech Tournament in Atlanta.

The award has been a part of the tournament for the past few years and recognizes students who have made significant impacts in their communities through their service and compassion for those less fortunate. Cecil was nominated by her coaches in recognition of her work raising money for Hope Food Pantry over the past three and one-half years.

Hope Food Pantry will receive a $400 cash donation, and the LCHS speech team will receive $100.

Board members detail district successes, goals, challenges Board of Education members, from left, Price Smith, Joanna Hinton, Dawn Conner, Farrah Pruitt and Paul Handley

As school districts throughout Kentucky recognize their boards of education during January, remember these are members of our community who are dedicated to face the challenges facing schools today with the commitment of doing everything they can in the interest of our county’s students.

LaRue County Board of Education members include Dawn Conner, Division 1 (Lyons and Hod- genville West); Paul Handley, Division 2 (White City, Hodgenville East); Farrah Pruitt, Division 3 (Lincoln Farm, Buffalo); Price Smith, Division 4 (Barren Run, Upton, Magnolia); and Joanna Hinton, Division 5 (Otter, Attilla, Mt. Sherman).

Each of the local board members was asked what his or her major short- and long-term goals are; what are the biggest challenges facing our schools; and what good things are going on in our schools of which we can be proudest.

LaRue County Schools honored with ENERGY STAR LaRue County Schools receives Energy Star awards.

The LaRue County Schools Board of Education celebrated the district’s recent ENERGY STAR awards for all its schools at the Jan. 22 board meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

“The LaRue County Schools is committed having to energy efficient schools. It has been a great experience working with Harshaw Trane to achieve this status,” said Sam Sanders, LaRue County Schools superintendent. “It allows the district to spend more resources on our students and less on energy bills.”

Lincoln's Birthday 5K Shoe

Looking to give your health a boost? Always wanted to take part in a 5K, but never signed up?  Check this out!

Statement regarding school safety LaRue County High School

Wednesday afternoon, a LaRue County High School student made a threatening comment to another student in a side conversation during a class. After the class, a student who witnessed the exchange notified the teacher, who notified school leaders.

School officials talked with students in the class and the student who made the comment. At that time, the student did not recall his exact words but admitted to saying something threatening to a single student.

School officials determined a threat to the school was not made. However, it was important that school officials make it clear that such statements are entirely unacceptable. School officials notified the student’s parents, Hodgenville Police Department and Communicare, which provides risk assessments. HPD and Communicare told school officials they would interview the involved student Thursday morning. By coincidence, the student had prior arrangements to leave school early on Wednesday and was signed out by a parent shortly after the incident.

Confidential school disciplinary action has been taken. School officials are unaware of any criminal charges.

Multiple rumors about a threat have been circulating, especially on social media. We want to assure parents and students that there was no credible threat to the school at any time.

LCS instructional supervisor selected for Kentucky Women in Education Leadership Christina Boone

After a competitive application process, LaRue County Schools Instructional Supervisor Christina Boone is among 30 female educators selected for the first cohort of the Kentucky Women in Education Leadership (KWEL). Applicants were chosen based on specific leadership criteria.

These leaders, along with 30 of the state’s top female executive educators, convened Jan. 19-20 in Louisville for a leadership forum and induction ceremony.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity,” Boone said. “As a member of Kentucky Women in Education Leadership, I’ll have access to leadership and professional development as well as a network of exceptional educators. I’m really looking forward to growing as an educator and putting new skills and knowledge to work for our school district.”

New immunization requirements for students Immunization

Parents should begin preparing early for Kentucky’s new immunization requirements for children attending public schools next fall.

The law (902 KAR 2:060) requires all students to receive two Hepatitis A shots and students 16 and older to get a meningitis booster.

Rip Collins, LaRue County Schools health and safety coordinator, reminds parents that it’s imperative to start preparing now because the Hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses that must be six months apart.

“To be in compliance for enrollment next fall, they had better schedule their first appointment immediately,” said Collins.

Lisa Cox, school health team leader with Lincoln Trail District Health Department, said that Hepatitis A shots previously were recommended, not required. The new Kentucky regulation, however, requires the two shots not only for public school students in grades K-12, but also for those in child day care centers, certified family child care homes, and preschool programs.

Cox added that upon receiving the initial Hepatitis shot, the child will be issued a provisional immunization certificate that expires after six months.

LaRue Schools to honor leaders during School Board Recognition Month LaRue County Schools Board of Education

Kentucky will again observe January as School Board Recognition Month and the LaRue County School System is joining in the celebration.

The LaRue County Board of Education is composed of Dawn Conner, Price Smith, Joanna Hinton, Farrah Pruitt and Paul Handley.

“The voters of our community have created a special group of education leaders in this board,” said Superintendent Sam Sanders. “They are true partners in the work to ensure every child in every classroom can experience high quality teaching and learning.

Blending talent: LCHS artists illustrate achievement Anna Webb and Katelyn Senesi

School district banners created by students are a favored tradition of the annual Kentucky School Boards Association conference. In this year’s display, a collaboration of high school seniors Katelyn Senesi and Anna Webb represents LaRue County Schools.

The banner is their interpretation of the KSBA 2018 theme, “Adapting and Achieving.” The painting shows a graduation scene, and in the background, the artists wove in Webb’s sunrise and Senesi’s galaxy.

“Getting your diploma – everyone knows the hard work and adapting you have to do to achieve that,” Webb said, adding that the sunrise and the nigh-sky galaxy represent the beginning and the ending of the day.

ExCEL nominees honored 2018 WHAS11/LG&E KU ExCEL Award nominees Eric Allen, Erin Hardwick, Natasha Price and Andy Arendt

Four LaRue County teachers, one from each of the district’s schools, are in the running to be named the 2018 WHAS11/LG&E KU ExCEL (Excellence in Classroom and Educational Leadership) Award winner.

The award recognizes and rewards the contributions of public schools and the teaching profession to the development and well-being of young people and the community.

District officials will announce the LaRue County ExCEL Award recipient at a dinner on Jan. 11. A ceremony will follow on Jan. 24 at the award recipient’s school.

Superintendent search underway Superintendent Search

The search for LaRue County Schools’ next superintendent has begun.

“LaRue County has more than the typical timeframe to find our next superintendent, but we are not delaying the search,” said board chairwoman Dawn Conner. “We’re glad to get the process started now, and we hope to have the next superintendent identified before the end of the school year.”

Skaggs awarded for ability to "rally" LCHS Denise Skaggs with the Rally On Me award

Denise Skaggs is the recipient of a “Rally on Me” award for her work as principal at LaRue County High School.

Skaggs, a longtime veteran teacher and administrator with LaRue County Schools, has served as LCHS principal since April 25 when she was selected to replace former principal Kyle Goodlett.

Presenters from HOPE (Helping Other People Excel Training and Professional Development, LLC.) gave Skaggs the award in November at Fort Knox.

New clubs help students reach full potential LCMS art students

This year, students at LaRue County Middle School have three new avenues to get involved and develop their skills and talents. The school has established or re-established the Pep Club, Art Club and the Health and Fitness Club.

Asked to bring forth ideas that would promote a positive school culture for the student body, the school’s student leadership group suggested expanding clubs.

Remembering Everett Glennie “E.G. Red” Sanders E.G. Sanders

E.G. Sanders, superintendent of LaRue County Schools from 1967 to 1991, passed away Monday, Dec. 4. He was 92.

Sanders started his long career in 1950 as a teacher and coach at Buffalo High School, and he became principal of Hodgenville High School in 1954. In 1958, when Buffalo, Hodgenville and Magnolia high schools consolidated, Sanders was named the first principal of LaRue County High School, a post he held until becoming superintendent.

“He loved LaRue County Schools, and the community will miss him. There’s no doubt about that,” said Corky Cox. Sanders hired Cox to coach basketball in 1956, and after working together for 31 years, they continued to be close friends who visited often.

Band of Hawks soared in 2017 Band of Hawks recognition at LCS Board of Education meeting.

The LaRue County High School Band of Hawks recently wrapped up an incredible marching season, placing third in its class during the state finals at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville.

Approximately 60 students are in the band – the most the school has had in recent years – and the talent and hard work of each made 2017 a successful season.

It's not too early to start seeking financial aid Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Though high school graduation is several months away and college may seem even more remote at this point in the school year, most counselors agree that it’s certainly not too early for seeking sources of financial aid.

KPREP testing is May 7-16 KPREP testing is May 7-16

LaRue County Schools students and teachers are putting a year of work to the test as annual Unbridled Learning assessments get underway.

Students in third through eighth grade will complete Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-PREP) assessments May 7-11. High school students will complete K-PREP assessments May 15-16.

On Friday, May 11, all schools will be in session for a full day rather than following the early-release schedule.